test driving the second generation AUDI Q7 in the swiss alps
test driving the second generation AUDI Q7 in the swiss alps
jun 01, 2015

test driving the second generation AUDI Q7 in the swiss alps

test driving the second generation AUDI Q7 in the swiss alps
all images courtesy of AUDI AG




nine years after the first generation was released, the new AUDI ‘Q7’ and the shortly followed ‘Q7 e-tron quattro plug-in hybrid’ were announced at the 2015 north america international auto show. the highly anticipated premium SUV showcased an assortment of comprehensive driver assistant systems, a key focus on its lightweight construction and a more masculine design, which features the german company’s latest styling. traveling to sion, switzerland, designboom drove the vehicle through the picturesque landscape, testing three core values; sportiness, safety and premium comfort.

side view of the premium SUV




the first thing you notice with the new ‘Q7’, is that it has a more determined and defined form than its predecessor. this creates a larger road presence, even though the model is actually 37 millimetres (mm) shorter and 15mm narrower than before. this is because of the front’s horizontal lines, deeply sculpted singleframe grille that features thick crossbars, and the broad frame, which extends to the headlights. these lights are unmistakably AUDI, with a sharp and double arrow-shaped design, and are either available with their xenon, LED or matrix LED technology.





continuing to reference its smaller size, the SUV actually boasts a larger interior, adding 21mm between the first and second rows of seats, and creating 41mm of head room in the former row and 23mm in the latter, respectively. in addition to its spaciousness, the inside provides an atmosphere of cultivated elegance with premium materials. a key focus is its wrap-around panel that runs from door-to-door, through the instrument panel. following these contours, an ultra-narrow light creates a calming ambient, which changes dramatically when warning passengers about exiting the car.

the singleframe grille and the front’s horizontal lines help establish its more masculine form




as well as the smaller size, the second-generation AUDI ‘Q7’ features a lightweight construction, reducing its bulk by 325kg and lowering its center of mass. this makes it very easy and agile to drive, as well as bettering its fuel consumption. an important part of this is the front and rear axles’ light five-link design that replaces the previous car’s double wishbone axle. this, empowering an electric spindle drive, makes all-wheel steering possible. its back wheels turn inwards by as much as five degrees, and at low speeds, they steer oppositely to the front ones. this reduces the turning radius by up to one meter and is most noticeable, and appreciated, when driving up the curving swiss alp roads and when parking.

the front of the interior focuses on the wrap-around design, which creates a protective feeling


although smaller than its predecessor, it adds 21mm between the first and second rows






however, when at high speeds, the rear wheels follow the movement of the front, optimizing its steering response and further increasing its stability. this is highly appreciated when traveling along highways, like we did, in the powerful 3.0 liter TDI and TFSI engines. the former and the first we test drove, boasts 272hp, 600Nm of torque and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds, whereas the latter and the second model we tested, has 333hp, 440Nm of toque and races to 62.1mph in 6.1 seconds.



introducing the new AUDI Q7
video courtesy of AUDI UK




making a real statement in standards for the SUV segment, the ‘Q7’ includes many firsts when it comes to new driver assistance systems. these, including the rear parking aid, multicollision brake assist system and rear cross-traffic assist, are just a few of the impressive additions made to the car. the two which were the most impressive and that we were able to test, were the park assist system and the adaptive cruise control (ACC). the park assist technology was tried in AUDI’s controlled environment, where a simple press of a button, enabled the car to autonomously steer itself, frontways or by reversing, with the driver just using the throttle or brake. the ACC feature, with traffic jam assistant, was easy to employ and enabled it to keep at a desired distance from the vehicle ahead.





like many of the driver assistance systems, the park assist technology would not have been possible if not for the front and rear axles’ five-link design and electromechanical power steering. it really is this lightweight feature that makes the car so great. it is the foundation for the driver assists, helps shred weight off of the construction and enables the automobile to be controlled very easily. all of this makes the second-generation AUDI ‘Q7’ an extremely comfortable companion, handling its impressive performance with effortlessness and providing it with AUDI’s recognizable sportiness.

rear view of the second-gen AUDI Q7




  • exterior is far more banal than the previous model… but the interior is quite lush with comfort and materials. an interesting direction for Audi to head

  • finally Audi Q7 has some straight edge to it.. soon they’ll be not far off the jeep or ford territory… the Australians and Americans always could design the best looking 4×4’S (or SUVs) the Euros have been playing catch up in the ‘aggressive looks’ department ever since..

  • I’m surprised… It looks like a slope-roof, Chrysler Minivan from the front quarter and the Honda Accord Turing (Acura TSX Sport Wagon) from the rear quarter. I guess there is only so much innovation before you begin to offput your prospective audience. VW group begins to look like General Motors from 20 years ago.


have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
508,328 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine